I am told your theme is “Championing educators’ rights inthe midst of bargaining challenges in Botswana” I am happy that you find yourself in these circumstances, I am happy that the prevailing governing system treated you so unfairly.
I am happy that not everyone understands where the truth lies about the circumstances; Some believe that you are where you are because of your stubbornness, and some say you have failed on procedure; and I am happy that these people don’t know the truth, and they don’t appreciate the facts. I am happy that there are circles and segments in our society that see you through these fabricated lenses.
This makes me happy. I am happy that you look like you have been falsely accused of so many things
I am happy that sometimes you feel your situation appears helpless. What makes me happy is that our nation can count on you – it can count on you because where injustice rears its ugly face and grows from the soils of this land, you will call it by its name because you know how it looks like
This nation can count on you – it can count on you when the current government, from its luxurious seat in Gaborone can cut off water supply to the loving and beautiful people of Xere, when these sons and daughters of the desert have to endure the debilitating thirst and health hazards occasioned by a manufactured perennial drought.
We can count of you because you know how it is to be treated unfairly, and how to stand up for fairness, a God-given right that every nation should cherish.
Today my friends, despite our progress on many fronts as a nation and despite the heavy investments we have made on our education system, our children living with disabilities are languishing in misery at home, hidden from the public eye so that they may wallow in stagnancy of their lack of opportunity, but I am happy today because we can count on you to fight for a comprehensive education and scholarship system to integrate each of these valuable human spirits that bring a season of spring to our lives.
When national institutions that form the bedrock of an aspired-for democratic system and economy come under the subtle clutch of self-appointed masters and friends of masters, suffocating any sense of purpose and excellence in our nation, we can depend on you, we can count on you because your own eyes have seen an institution hijacked. We can count on you because you know how to work on rehabilitating a broken system to a culture, one day, of purpose and excellence
The treasure vaults of our nation are porous and leaking, with our treasures being washed away like the sands of a mighty river.
We count on you to be the welders that will weld our money vaults, so everyone citizen shares according to need, honest work and unhindered creativity. We count on you because you know how it feels when monies that should be directed to our education sector are washed away to the sand-beds that are playgrounds for extravagant fighter jets, the grippen fighter jets that have consumed our national treasures.
I represent so many citizens out there, young and old who I know wish me to convey to you their faith in your abilities.
They want me to convey their admiration for your determination to transform our nation’s education system to a world class standard, and you can.
They appreciate your sacrifices. We all have hope that one day everyone of us in this country will cherish its treasures, and the opportunity to realise our individual and collective aspirations.
We count on you to accelerate the coming of the day when this will be true. I part with you on this saying, that ‘being a candle is not easy; in order to give light, we must first burn’.
I am sorry Cde Rari for your family loss earlier this year, but I wish this gathering to know that your example and moral courage are a source of great admiration for many; thank you to president Modukanele and your committee for steering the ship with valour. You, the teachers are crème de la crème of our country, and our hope is rested on you.